Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho receives backing of Mark Halsey

Mourinho Graffiti

The Special One has not had it easy with referees or the FA recently.

Times have been tough for Jose Mourinho this season. The Portuguese has struggled to get his team playing at the same level as last season, when they won the Premier League and the League Cup.

But he has also been making the news for the wrong reasons, regarding his treatment of referees. He has, on numerous occasions, found himself falling foul of the FA for comments about officials in recent weeks after some controversial decisions have gone against the team.

The West Ham game seemed to be the final straw as Nemanja Matic received a soft red card and Cesc Fabregas had a goal ruled out for offside in what was a close call.

Mourinho complained and was sent to the stands at half-time.

But he has received some backing from an unlikely source today, a former Premier League referee. Mark Halsey wrote in his column for the Bolton News this week:

"Picking on Chelsea has become an art form in recent weeks – but once again I think Jose Mourinho has been hard done by after Chelsea lost Nemanja Matic at West Ham...

"There was no reason to send Matic off in the final minute of the half – just tell him off and let it go.

"But it’s no wonder that Jose feels there are double standards at work.

"Take Swansea City’s Federico Fernandez, for example, he pushed his head into Aston Villa’s Micah Richards and I fully expected him to be charged retrospectively for violent conduct, given the precedent set by Diego Costa recently.

"But after reviewing the incident the FA decided not to issue a ban, and I simply can’t see why. There is no difference between the two cases.

"I don’t know what was said behind the scenes, and needless to say some language was used, but Jose ended up being sent to the stands on Saturday.

"Steve McClaren raced on to the pitch to confront the officials in the North East derby in front of everyone. Better or worse? You decide."

It seems then that Mourinho has some sympathy from this referee but unfortunately he is no longer working in the Premier League.

It is the active officials that the Chelsea boss needs to win over - and soon.

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch